Missouri AHEC and Maternal Telehealth Access
As of 2021, Missouri has the 7th highest rate of maternal mortality. Missouri had an average maternal mortality rate, including deaths within one year of pregnancy, of 34.6 deaths per 100,000 live births. These levels of maternal morbidity and mortality are viewed across the world as sentinel events which reflect on the State’s ability to care for its population. The death of women during pregnancy, childbirth and within the first year of postpartum influences child, family and community wellbeing.
According to the CDC, as the Covid-19 epidemic has endured, rates of maternal morbidity have increased significantly. Three Missouri AHEC centers partnered with the National AHEC Organization to promote a nationwide project focusing on increasing access to quality maternity care and services during (and beyond) the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maternal Telehealth Access Project or M-TAP was funded in May of 2020 for one year by the CARES Act. This project focuses specifically on serving women at the greatest risk of maternal mortality and morbidity.
Southeast Missouri AHEC, Northeast Missouri AHEC and Mid-Missouri AHEC were selected for three of the 25 a highly competitive mini-grants to promote the M-TAP spring educational offerings during the months of March and April. Various methods of promotional campaigns were utilized, including social media, email marketing and collaborating with partner organizations. These MAHEC centers will be responding to the needs of pregnant women throughout the state by offering trainings to health professionals in their region, in the following areas:
• Mitigating Secondary Traumatic Stress in Healthcare Providers: Signs,
Symptoms and Next Steps
• Coping with Covid-19: Trauma-Informed Care for Frontline Maternity
• Covid-19 and the Fourth Trimester of Pregnancy
• Maternal Health Remote Monitoring: Lessons in the Field
• Telehealth, Covid-19, and Intimate Partner Violence: Increasing Safety and
Surviving Abuse